[Novalug] Laptops at meetings [was: wireless available at meetings?]
truegsegger at csc.com
Tue Jan 16 16:36:30 EST 2007
> Out of curiosity, why is internet access needed at all?
I'm glad to see this question on the table and I'm curious to hear
people's thoughts on it. I don't have The Answer, just some thoughts
of my own, as follows.
> Isn't everyone there to interact with other people and see the
We each have our own reasons for spending a precious Saturday morning
at a NOVALUG meeting. Those reasons may or may not include an interest
in the particular topic being presented at the moment. Even when I'm
deeply interested, I take notes, look up references and bookmark sites
the speaker mentions.
> Simply being online while someone is talking and presenting, that's
> just generally considered poor form (and downright rude).
Not sure how rude it is compared to many of the other things we humans
do when our interest wanders. When I'm presenting, I'm happy to assume
the person using the laptop is getting more value out of my
presentation; after all, how can I tell from up front? I can't make
any such face-saving assumption about people having a private
conversation, falling asleep, fidgeting, etc.
> The inability to stay off line for a few hours might be a real
> (social) problem as well.
It might well be (the inability to stay off a cell phone certainly
seems that way). But I'm not yet convinced that's why NOVALUGers take
laptops to a meeting.
> For those that will argue that they're "downloading pertinent
> information to the presentation", that's really not too acceptable
> when half the room is filled with laptops. Particularly when you
> can SEE that people are not paying attention and doing "other"
> things online. It also still means the presenter isn't getting the
> proper attention they deserve.
The speaker can't see what people are doing on their own laptops, but
can certainly see when people are glaring at someone else's laptop
instead of paying attention. Is this "self-appointed police" role any
> What's wrong with taking notes (pen/paper style) and working on it
> after you leave?
My handwriting is now slower than my typing, far less legible, and
still requires typing to be of any use.
In any case, like most of us, I find myself with insufficient time to
accomplish all the things I want/need to do. Notes scribbled on paper
are unlikely to be transcribed, ever. And it's a pleasant, congenial
environment to be at NOVALUG, listening to a presentation or an
ongoing discussion and, at the same time, getting caught up on some
undemanding but time-consuming task, in my case gimping photos.
Standards of what is and isn't rude change with the times. My
preference is to focus on actual harm done and accept that I can't
control others' behavior or beliefs.
More information about the Novalug